Please watch your kids. Look, I know kids are jerks sometimes (I have two little monsters of my own). But that does not give you the right to drop your 3-year-old off at the water slides, walk to the other side of the water park and jump on your phone.
I get it. That’s what pool life was before you had kids. You could just throw back a few cold ones and sun bathe. But you are a parent now, and it is your job to make sure your kid is following the rules.
And if you don’t, I am old school with that village mentality, and with or without you here, I will discipline your kid — even if we are on vacation in South Carolina and I do not know you at all. And parents, I expect you to do the same for me.
You see, if you were watching your kid, you would have seen the lifeguard warn him 10 times to wait until the kid in front of him gets off the slide and only go feet first. You would have known that I confronted him for the third time because he was walking up and cutting everyone time and time again.
And I can only take so much until this Mama Bear is going to put your kid in time out. Yep, that’s right. Even the lifeguard asked if that was my kid — nope, sure isn’t — but I am not afraid to put a kid not listening in time out. And when your kid refused to go, I offered an alternative: Take me to you, his parents. After much thought, he took me to you, you know, on the other side of the water park not even facing the slides without a care in the world.
I explained what he was doing and that the lifeguard would have brought him over but she needed to keep an eye on the other 50 kids on the slides. I then also reminded you that wearing sunglasses on the slides was probably a bad idea (hence the broken glasses and small cut under his eye).
You immediately said, “we are done, we are leaving!” Look, he is 3. Maybe if you would coach him — guide him — you wouldn’t have to leave. But unfortunately, the world isn’t going to raise your kid. You have to do that.
Look around. There are babies throwing fits everywhere and parents desperately trying to console or discipline them, me included. Especially when I caught Maylie trying to cut (hey, it worked for that little boy). Believe me, I walked my butt up those stairs getting splashed the entire way and scolded her. That is not OK and will not be tolerated. Message delivered. She did not cut again.
There are so many parents around trying their best, involved and instilling lessons to make their kid better. And yes, these babies are tired, especially on vacation when their sleep schedule is off. But you cannot just look away.
For at least the first 18 years, they are completely your responsibility. It is solely up to you to make sure they don’t end up total jerks. Look, I am more than happy to help out from time to time, but I am also busy trying to make sure my little monsters grow up to be good people.
And it’s not a part-time job. It is not letting your kid roam at a public place and hoping the other parents will do your job. Because guess what, while I was taking your injured kid to find you, a 7-year-old tried to talk my 3-year-old into going to the lazy river.
Thankfully, she knew she needed her puddle jumper on to go in the big pool, although she didn’t understand the real need of an adult to be with her at all times — because she is 3. And cannot be left alone at a water resort on vacation.
Look, parents, I am not saying that you cannot have any help. I truly believe it takes a village, and take full advantage of mine. And I will look out for your babies whether or not I know you because that is just the way my heart is.
I think the village is so important, but it is not some place you drop your kid off and pick them up from later. You have to actually be a part of the village. Do your part.
Us village parents will thank you for that now. And I promise you that, one day, your kids will thank you for it, too.
Village Mom of two little monsters
Sarah (Pitson) Shrader was born and raised in Lima. She is a Lima Central Catholic and Tiffin University graduate. Sarah is a full-time working mama who enjoys writing about her somewhat crazy, always adventurous life as a mother. She lives in Bath Township with her husband, Paul, and their daughters, her writing inspirations, Maylie and Reagan.